OpenBSD Journal

Speeding up your installs with Jumpstart Install

Contributed by grey on from the people who install OpenBSD a LOT might benefit dept.

Brendan Strejcek writes:

I have written up a short overview of a hack to do Jumpstart-style installs of OpenBSD.

You can find it here.

I've only glanced over this so far, it looks like this helps automate the actual installer process rather than customizations that one might make as part of the process using the "official" siteXX.tgz and methodologies, but perhaps Brendan can ellucidate matters further with responses here.

(Comments are closed)

  1. By marklar ( on

    You can get around the requirement for having to enter the hostname by using rarp and a DNS lookup to a hard-coded nameserver IP. It does mean you have to know the MAC address of the network interface before you start though.

    1. By Brendan Strejcek ( on

      You could do a similar trick with static DHCP leases, I think. That would probably be a little less bogus than a hardcoded nameserver address. In my case, it was easier for me to just ask the user for the hostname though.

      That also gives them a chance to back out before the install procedure scribbles all over the disk.

      1. By Marklar ( on

        Where's your sense of adventure? Seriously though, it's probably a good idea for those "oh shit" moments.

        I'll have a crack at doing this with 3.6 on Alpha when it's released and let you know of any script modifications required.

    2. By bitje ( on

      This is great stuff. BTW with Solaris custom jumpstart you need
      to know the mac-address too. Would be excellent if this stuff would
      be incorporated in the OpenBSD source tree.

  2. By Matt Van Mater ( on

    This is pretty cool, I have seen one or two other people do this in the past few years.

    What i'd really like to see is something more akin to an answer file that doesn't require customization of the install scripts. It would be nice if you could pre-generate an answer file or add a last step to the install script that saves the selections you made to an answer file for future use. This may be speaking heresy, but I've always liked that little feature in Mandrake's install routine. I'd also like to use a simple calculator like bc to allocate partition space based upon percentage (good for scripted installs where disk size may not be static).

    I was thinking about writing something using expect, but the few times I've skimmed the language's specs it seemed a little overcomplicated. Anyone try making something like this before in expect?

  3. By Anonymous Coward ( on

    Check out DragonFlyBSD's RConfig. This would make your life a lot easier.

    1. By Matt Van Mater ( on

      Well I tried to skim the dragonflybsd website and was unable to find any docs for rconfig in the first few minutes. Do they expect us to download the source and/or iso in order to read man pages on it? The documentation page has nothing but a few slide presentations, and afaik the site has no search functionality.

      I know they're still getting started, but their website has a slight lack of information.


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